So you’re thinking of implementing live chat for your business…
Do you know the difference between proactive and reactive? What should you expect from your live chat provider? Does having live chat turned on 24/7 actually make a difference? And what’s the best way to implement an effective live chat program that will help you achieve your KPIs?
If it all seems a bit overwhelming, don’t fret… this article is about to break it all down!
Reactive vs Proactive
Research has shown that investment in reactive chat produces a return on investment (ROI) of 15%, while an investment in proactive chat produces an ROI of 105%!
Reactive or Proactive: This is the difference between live chat just for customer service and live chat to boost leads and sales.
Think of the last time you went shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. You walk into the shop. What happens? More often than not, a sales representative comes up to ask you how they may assist. This is an important yet tricky interaction to navigate as they want to come across as helpful and attentive, and not pushy or annoying. They would use physical cues like body language and intonation to infer whether you would like their immediate assistance, or to return at a more appropriate time.
There’s no reason why this experience should be any different online. So how can this interaction be replicated digitally and is it even possible without the physical cues?
Enter proactive live chat and data analysis!
Proactive live chat means that an agent initiates a greeting with each visitor on your website. As the visitor forms their their impressions of your business through your site, being present in this process indicates that there is someone “there”, giving them a sense of reassurance that they will be taken care of should they require any assistance.
It is useful to offer assistance before the visitor asks, simply because most of the time the visitor might not even bother asking and just click away, leaving them with unanswered questions about your business. To reach out proactively for assistance captures their attention and engages them before they scroll away to a competitor’s site. A study has found that customers approached proactively are 6.3 times more likely to make a purchase than those left to their own devices!
However, merely having a proactive pop-up greeting only does so much. What’s more important is how this is strategically implemented.
Live chat provides insights into how your visitors are navigating your site. It gives you access to metrics such as the number of times the visitor has been on a page, the amount of time spent on it, the specific page where the chat starts, and so on. Proactive chat isn’t just about firing chat greetings randomly, but requires meticulous analysis of data obtained from chat sessions.
Rules can then be created to initiate pop-up chats at optimal times to engage your customer. These rules can be tailored to trigger the chat box upon recognising certain visitor behaviours that indicate they may be prospective customers.
For instance, having a chat box timed to pop up after the visitor has been at the checkout page for 90 seconds, could re-engage the visitor. The chat box could offer a discount or promo code and encourage the visitor to follow through with their checkout. According to Forrester Research, a proactive live chat strategy can lower shopping cart abandonment rate by 30% to 40%!
Poorly implemented proactive chats could be annoying and even disrupt the shopping or browsing experience. It is therefore crucial to know how and when to fire chat greetings, and who to target so that chats are personalised and relevant, instead of being uninformed and intrusive.
Having a dedicated team of experts
How many times have you clicked on a live chat button, only to have to join a queue before getting to speak with an agent or be redirected to an email address because there wasn’t anyone currently online? These cases are misleading and even disappointing to the customer, as clicking on a live chat button gives the expectation of precisely that – that there is a person on the other end, online and ready to speak with you in real-time. Visitors to your site should not be made to wait or queue for a response as that defeats the very purpose of live chat. It is crucial that your live chat provider recognises this and delegates enough agents per client to handle their expected volume of chats.
Not only is it important to have enough resources, but the quality of agents is even more crucial. How are they trained for each client? What is the standard they have to abide by? What is done for quality control and optimisation? A professional live chat provider should consider all these factors when building a team of high performing agents.
Considering that 40% of website traffic typically occurs after business hours, it is important to pay equal attention to these visitors. The unique benefit of websites is that they allow you to present your business to potential customers – anytime, anywhere. Why not maximise this inherent characteristic of your site by interacting with your customers in real-time, instead of merely presenting words and images on a screen? With live chat, you engage in a conversation, you speak as well as listen… This makes it not only a valuable customer service and lead generation tool, but also a feedback channel to gain insights from your customers.
Imagine the potential of having live support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, instead of just 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Your dedicated live chat team will literally be capturing leads while you sleep! You will also be better placed to take your business international and cater to overseas customers in different time zones.
Another benefit of having 24/7 live chat is that it can significantly reduce downtime for your customers. Some issues might need prompt attention and it will be a relief for your customers if they know they can reach out to you, regardless of the time. It provides the reassurance that you’re always ready and prepared to assist.
Finally, having 24/7 proactive live chat on your site is another way to make you stand out from competitors. It encourages repeat customers due to the positive experience they’ve had interacting with you on your site, and is a compelling reason for new, past, and existing customers to choose your brand over others.
Having the software means nothing if you don’t have the expertise, training and resources to implement it well. A live chat program doesn’t benefit your business in and of itself. Are you looking for live chat as a customer service platform, to generate leads, or to increase sales? An effective live chat program should meet specific goals. It requires a professional team of experts to manage, analyse and optimise the knowledge base. Greechat, for instance, is the sister company of digital marketing agency Area Ten. The team has the expertise to use data and analytics obtained from live chat sessions to ensure KPIs are met. With Greechat, there are no setup fees and we start showing ROI in the first month! Get in touch today for a free consultation to find out what our fully managed 24/7 proactive live chat program can do for your business.